6.6/10
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78 user 86 critic

The Dead Girl (2006)

Trailer
2:23 | Trailer

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The clues to a young woman's death come together as the lives of seemingly unrelated people begin to intersect.

Director:

Karen Moncrieff

Writer:

Karen Moncrieff
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Toni Collette ... Arden
Piper Laurie ... Arden's Mother
Donnie Smith ... Cop 1
Michael Raysses Michael Raysses ... Cop 2
Earl Carroll Earl Carroll ... Reporter
Dorothy Beatty Dorothy Beatty ... Grocery Checker
Eva Loseth Eva Loseth ... Grocery Store Customer
Giovanni Ribisi ... Rudy
Rose Byrne ... Leah
Joanie Tomsky ... Therapist
James Franco ... Derek
Christopher Allen Nelson ... Murray
Mary Steenburgen ... Leah's Mother
Bruce Davison ... Leah's Father
Kate Mulligan Kate Mulligan ... Party Girl
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Storyline

In Los Angeles, a story about a dead girl, told in five chapters. A woman, miserable in her circumscribed life caring for her domineering mother, finds a body. Somehow, this discovery allows her to change. At the morgue, the sister of a girl missing for 15 years believes the body is that of her sister; this liberates her. An older woman, married to a man who pays her little attention, finds evidence in a storage unit; how will she handle it? The mother of the dead girl, who left home some years before, visits the last place her daughter lived and makes her own discoveries. Last, we flash back to the victim's final day. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

One life ends. Six others begin. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, grisly images and sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 April 2007 (Hungary) See more »

Also Known As:

Dead Girl See more »

Filming Locations:

Acton, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,613, 31 December 2006

Gross USA:

$19,875

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$905,291
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(theatrical)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In segment one, "The Stranger", Piper Laurie played the same type of verbally abusive mother that she portrayed in the original "Carrie" 30 years earlier. See more »

Goofs

When Melora meets Rosetta, her face is beaten up. When she takes Rosetta out to eat, her face looks normal. When she drops Rosetta back at the motel, her face is a mess again. See more »

Quotes

Arden: There's a dead girl.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In the theatrical release, there are two references to Arden's dead brother: when her mother mentions him, causing Arden's frenzy, and when she packs his picture before she leaves. There is an extended sequence that shed light on this relationship, and the shared tragedy that bound Arden to her mother for many years. See more »

Soundtracks

Take It As It Comes
Written by Gabriel Roth (as Gabriel Alexander Roth), Neal Sugarman
Performed by Charles Bradley
Courtesy of The Orchard
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Nutshell Review: The Dead Girl
30 September 2007 | by DICK STEELSee all my reviews

The story brought memories of an old television cult series called Twin Peaks. A dead, blonde girl's body is being discovered in the grasslands of an idyllic village, and this provides the catalyst for the movie as the plot unravels to tell of the stories that centers around that discovery. In summary, it had a total of 5 short stories all inter-weaved through a fragmented timeline, and a host of characters in those stories who have one way or another, played a part in the girl's life, during when she was alive, and after.

The Stranger stars Toni Collette as the woman who discovered the body, and how she gets thrust into the media limelight, yet yearning for that freedom to flee from her domineering mother. The Sister tells of a pathologist's inability to fight on and continue her family's believe that her missing sister is still out there somewhere, and not to throw in the towel and give up hope. The Wife will manage to rile you up, with the story of a neglected wife, and her hopes for reconciling with her estranged husband, who prefers gallivanting late at night to spending time with her, and of course, with her decision to protect her husband's secrets to losing him for sure altogether when revealed. And The Mother reminds you that a mother's love knows no bounds. Hurt by her daughter's disappearance, the worse case scenario happens, and Mum has got to heal old wounds. It's a touching short, and I thought one of the most powerful amongst the rest. And rounding it up, like the last pieces of a jigsaw, is The Dead Girl's story, where we see a foul mouthed Brittany Murphy bringing it all on.

The movie had excellent performances all round by the ensemble cast, and it doesn't have any big bang moments to shock and awe. It's a dramatic story, rather than a mystery- thriller-whodunnit. I was glad that it didn't go down the torture porn route, although it could have, but didn't need to. Leaving it where it is will already allow your imagination to run wild what the outcome will be. However, this might serve as a let down to some as it might seem that it failed to want to bridge the missing gap in the timeline. Fragmented timeline and multiple, parallel stories do seem to be the rage these days (Babel anyone?), but it all boils down to how much of a story you can make out of a single drop in the pond. That's what The Dead Girl feels like, with the stories the inevitable ripples that fan out.

You Are My Sunshine looks like a song very popularly used in end credits, and so far I had thought that it was a simple childhood nursery song. But when used in this context, it had a profound depth telling of longing and missing, that everyone has their own sunshine that they hold very dear to. Recommended movie, especially if you're into the fragmented timeline fad.


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